IFS v FFA

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Julian wrote...
I was actually suprised on Salisbury at how well Richard Mclennan's stock 90
did along some of the severe ruts we encountered.
SNIP
At which point I would like to endorse the effectiveness of Toy IFS
(except the RAV4 of course!)
At the risk of repeating myself, the UN's standard vehicle is the
4Runner/Surf ,call it what you like. The 90 series is the same
vehicle in its underpants. The ground clearance under the 4Runner is
extremely high, in fact more than a Patrol which is a vehicle that
has an almost as good reputation as an 80. The UN (Toy's largest
customer) don't buy any vehicle that will not do the job. The 4Runner
provides most of what an 80/105 will do at a more budget conscious price.
I had an ex UN 4Runner and it went everywhere I pointed it,
essentially the same mountain tracks that the 80 has subsequently been used on.
I have used 90's in the office fleet (Prado's) with no problem
whatsoever and been very pleased with them and their performance
(especially with that lovely 3l turbo). The axle articulation - or
its alleged limitations - has not been any problem. The downside is
that they can be hard on tyres and the front suspension and steering
are more car-like, so the maintenance is higher, and by now, with
2002 supplied vehicles, major overhaul is required whereas with a FFA
it would not be significant. When I replace either of my 4X4's I
have already decided that I will try and seek-out a 90. But I think
the 80 will be with me for a very long time yet, even if I eventually
register it in UK despite the LHD.
JB is right that the IFS has another 2 CVJ's, but I would worry more
about the rubber boots splitting than anything else - a major cause
of bearing failure rather than wear. That is not a cheap repair and
unfortunately a necessary evil; one could make a case for manually
engaged hubs to enable the disengagement of the shaft and subsequent
turning and enhanced perishing of the rubber. One great advantage I
had with my 4Runner and not the Prado, a case for easy disabling of
'full-time 4WD'. Often the front axle turns with little need to do
so. (Even more exaggerated in a RAV4!)
Cheers
Jon
Grand Union Canal
'92 HZJ80 ex UN surplus from Bosnia
 
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Morning Jon,
It is interesting to hear from you coming out in support of IFS being
suitable for tough terrain, I was half expecting the opposite.
After all the wrangling, personally my preferred vehicle for
overlanding would be an auto 105 transplanted with a 1HD-FT.
OK, I know there is another arguement there to be had about manual vs
automatic, however if cooled properly the LC auto box is as solid as a
rock.
PS - my terminology isn't quite right - I have been referring to a
Fixed Front Axle whereas it is more commonly know as a Solid Front Axle
(SFA).
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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Julian wrote...
It is interesting to hear from you coming out in support of IFS being
suitable for tough terrain, I was half expecting the opposite.
SNIP
OK Julian but remember my first line of the posting....
effectiveness of Toy IFS .....
My comments were made on the basis of my experience of the 4Runner
and 90 series that do have exceptional underbelly clearance - which I
also mentioned !
I would still agree that a solid axle has the best design for
clearance especially at the outer end. And
Jon W's comments about wishbones are most valid, and could not be
denied, except that I would put it in the context of ruts in mud or
soft soils. A greater feature of Northern Europe and maybe tropical
jungles than anywhere else, especially where all this 'overlanding'
appears to take place.
But let us take it further. The US govt wanted a 4WD with lowest
centre of gravity (contradicted by) highest underbelly clearance, all
with the ability to follow tanks, therefore wide track width. So the
Hummer was born, and what is the suspension? - IFS/IRS. If they had
to follow tank tracks then to keep the diff out of the ground with a
solid axle the vehicle would have been very high off the ground,
hence no solid axles.
Since 1999 till they left theatre in 2003, I have watched patrols
of 4 peacekeeper Hummers nearly every day. Apart from laughing at a
(wide) flat battlefield vehicle being expected to negotiate goat
tracks little more than half their width, it was always plain to see
where they had been. In mountains there are few ruts, but wherever
they cross the boggy valley bottoms the inside edge of the ruts have
a distinctive chamfer! Whilst talking to a patrol one day I got
underneath and had a look at the suspension. The CVJ appears to be a
double jointed affair, though quite slender, and the front edge of
the lower wishbones is designed to take to knocks and deflect rocks
etc. They still have fragile rubber bearing shrouds though. But I
have never seen a Hummer grounded.
As far as IFS is concerned its all about the underbelly clearance,
though I admit that my torsion bar suspension 4Runner had less
clutter attached to the lower wishbone, thus possibly making it
slimmer at the hub than a 90 coiler. Notice I still laugh at the RAV4
and I would put the smaller Suzuki in the same category of
difficulty, but the Suzuki is so successful cos its light weight
keeps it on top rather than let it sink into ruts etc. But a big rock
in the way is a big rock in the way, the driver or his observer
should see it first. By the way, my brother-in-law has a corporate
entertainment business near Horsham (Country-Pursuits) and in his
quarry 4WD course he has given up with 'large' 4WD's and now runs 7
Suzukis. So he is happy with their IFS.
And finally, remember I told you how well my (IFS torsion bar) Mk1
Pajero went around Salisbury Plain with the Paj club, whilst others
with lifted suspension and big knobbly tyres were getting stuck. As
far as I can remember the very successful Mitsubishi team in the
Dakar use the standard IFS axle. Though I have not seen any pictures
from this year's Dakar as I am Skyless at present.
Cheers
Jon
Grand Union Canal
'92 HZJ80 ex UN surplus from Bosnia
 
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